Page 1

The Static Page

Matters of momentum problems that don’t exist. Recently, they added a use case scenario that made a little more sense – stream your PC game to your large TV in another room using SHIELD. Another example of possible success despite a lack of need: Steam OS. I had a chance to meet John Carmack in Canada and he said that when Valve approached him years ago asking for DOOM to be locked for distribution to Steam he thought they were crazy. “But look at Steam now!” he quickly added to those present. Even with Steam OS, he sounded skeptical about everything shifting ground up to a new platform (Linux), but as he said, “It’s Valve. Years later we can look back at them as being prophetic, and it’s purely because it’s Valve I won’t call them crazy this time.” The sheer momentum that Steam has gathered as a platform might just be enough to propel Steam OS into success. This momentum is the aberration to the rule of technologies and products that make sense. Take the iPad for example. When Apple launched it, it literally birthed an entirely new industry, despite the need for a “tablet” not being the strongest at the time. Even today, there are billions living their lives just fine without one, but if you happen to get one, all of a sudden you cannot imagine ever being without it. The Apple juggernaut made sure devs were churning out apps for it from Day 1. Can we really have an Apple product that flops anymore? Most companies are hoping that the smartwatch will become what smartphones and tablets are today. I have serious doubts, because again this seems like a desperate attempt at innovation for the sake of it, and not really filling a need. We don’t need these incremental innovations, or duct-taped solutions. What we need are built from the ground-up new technologies – a newer and better interface than touch, radically new and efficient sources of portable power; we need today’s equivalent of the car, the internet, the wheel and sliced bread, and the company that does it first will see all the world’s momentum go with it – and our money too!




hen we think of technology innovations, the few examples that come to mind instantly are those that have solved a longstanding problem. The car for example solved the problem of rapid personal transport, the laptop allowed us all to compute on the go, and the internet (apart from making us worship cats) forever changed how we live. Even at a product level there were innovations that made things incrementally better. Apple didn’t invent the touchscreen smartphone or the portable music player, but what it did was make those devices genuinely practical by solving many of the little problems that had plagued previous attempts – battery life, storage space, touch response, etc. There are many more examples like this, but space is a constraint here. Technology, I believe, should solve a problem, fulfill a burning need, or make a user’s life infinitely simpler. When designing a new product these principles should ideally be common sense. Thus, to make something that doesn’t fulfil any of those elementary principles is a recipe for disaster, right? Surprisingly, the answer is both yes and no. I was at an NVIDIA conference in Canada recently, where they announced a solution to graphical tearing and stutter – problems that have bothered us gamers since the dawn of computer graphics. This new technology got me making a mental list of all the other innovations in recent years that were built from the ground up to solve such problems. Turns out there aren’t as many as we’d like to believe, and most were created simply because they could be. Take Windows 8, for example; what real problems did we have with Windows 7 that it fixed? What need did the Surface RT meet? Honestly it seems to me like someone at Redmond just wanted to do something in the tablet space and decided to bootstrap Windows with a touchscreen to try and get in on the tablets action. I’m not on a Microsoft witch hunt here. Even NVIDIA, whom I just applauded for one elegant solution, has something that just doesn’t make sense. Look at SHIELD; why would you ever want to stream a PC game that’s running in all its glory on a PC monitor to a portable small screen with a controller? It never made sense to me from the word go. Technology companies seem to be obsessed with being creative and innovating for the sake of innovation – building solutions for

Siddharth Parwatay Features Editor


“Technology companies seem to be obsessed with being creative and innovating for the sake of innovation – building solutions for problems that don’t exist.”

Got feedback about this column? Drop me a line at:

Digit | November 2013 | 1

Contents november 2013

volume 13 \ issue 11




001 Enter COnnECTIONS 020 Mobile Watch


Web Watch App Watch Security Watch

042 Workshop Secure your digital life 046 Sci-Tech Tomorrow’s Tech Space Age

057 Toolbox Tips and Tricks Q&A Workshop

Centre 072 Test Camera Phones Routers All-in-One PCs

Smart 105 Street Killer Rigs

realities of the Internet.


Agent 001 Price Watch

naked and exposed? 34 Feeling You should be! Find out more about the harsher

@ Work 110 Tech Smart SoHo


Industry Connect

114 Esc Community Digit 101

Tried & Tested

4 Digit | November 2013 |

Unwind Lose the serious face, kick back and relax with us like a boss.

93 HP Slate 21 Android on this “PC” feels quite good. Nay, very good.

96 Cooler Master 690 III A great case revisited

97 LG G2 Finally, a phone from LG that impresses. A lot.

2D glasses

The next installment in the NFS series will be avoiding the next gen Wii console

Canon’s new portable scanner weighs 550g & measures 312.5 x 55.5 x 40mm. Price: `11,995/-

Subtitle your life

Ever had problems with 3D movies which really shouldn’t have been 3D movies? Un-3D your 3D glasses with this article

Will Powell comes up with a way to subtitle foreign languages on the go, through your Drool maal glasses

Portal Sentry Turret Are you are a gamer who was left smitten by Valve’s Portal franchise? If yes, then you’re sure to remember GLaDOS and those cute little turrets that fired bullets once they detected your presence. After all this time, the enthusiasm for the game still hasn’t died down and the folks over at Gaming Heads have started selling replica models of these lovable talking turrets. You can get this 16-inch tall hand finished video game paraphernalia at $330 (`20,346) a piece, but hurry, only a limited 350 of them are up for grabs.

HTC One Gold If you’ve ever fancied King Midas, you’ll probably love this pure 18-carat gold beauty. If the HTC One wasn’t already one of the most well-crafted smartphones ever made, the Gold is yet another reason to buy it, but be advised – only five of these were ever made by HTC to celebrate the 18th anniversary of MOBO Awards and each costs $4,420 or `2,87,500 to be precise. Though it’s hard to get your hands on one of these, it doesn’t hurt to try.

Continuum Caliburn + Cobra + Castellon Turntable

Take what you want, but leave me my toys!

If you say that Vinyl LPs are dead, chances are that some hipster will throw his useless copy of Rebecca Black’s Friday at you. Nevertheless, the LP is still the music format of choice for many audiophiles. Of course, you need a good turntable to play your collection of records, and Australian audio specialist Continuum has an answer for you in the form of its $160,000 (`9,86,4800 ) turntable – the Caliburn. Made of aircraft grade aluminium that consists of a floating platform, a platter weighing 36 kgs and a specially designed motor which is incidentally also used by the U.S. military for motion control systems, the Continuum Caliburn is a state-of-the-art example of what you can expect in high-end audio equipments. Want it? Put your name down and wait for 10 months. After all, you asked for a made-to-order, über expensive turntable.

Red Harbinger Cross Desk Usually we use a desk to keep our PCs on but the Red Harbinger Cross Desk destroys that concept. As per its design, the Harbinger is a desk and a PC case rolled into one. Inspired by the immensely popular and award-winning L3p D3sk modding project, the Cross Desk can accommodate the most costliest and most outrageous computer components your mind can possibly think of. And get this: you can build two separate rigs, add the huge liquid cooling components, install twenty 3.5-inch drives, hide cables using its excellent cable management system and add some futuristic lighting to pimp up your desk. This ridiculously awesome desk can be yours for a measly $1,700. The cost doesn’t include the PC hardware, shipping and customs. Add this up and what you get is a nice way to burn your Diwali bonus.

Fitbit Flex If you’ve gained some weight due to those long working hours cooped up in front of a computer screen chomping on fries, this product is just for you. The Fitbit Flex is a wireless activity tracking band that keeps a log of your steps, distance travelled and calories burnt – all through the use of an app installed on your smartphone that’s connected to the wearable Flex band. Its uses are not limited to this; it can also be used to log your food activity, measure the time duration of your sleep and wake you up with its silent vibrating alarm. Available in trendy colours, it can be yours for just $99.95 (`6,162).

32 Digit | November 2013 |

Digit | November 2013 | 33

032 Droolmaal

Gadgets and gizmos that will enrich your lives. Provided you’re rich of course.

Basic Chemistry lab video tutorials

SKOAR! Magazine: The interactive edition

Linux security distributions Kali Linux Tails Liberté Linux and more...

The Open Art Game Bundle HalcyonicFalconX Nutcase Nightmare Kenney Mind Chamber and more...

AMD GPU 14 Conference Microsoft Surface 2 launch keynote

Game demos Rayman Legends Spin Tires Alien Rage Urban Trial Freestyle and more...

Network Security Tools Wireshark Netcat Tor Browser Bundle and more... Music Albums Aarambh Sons of Sin Chewing on Tinfoil

Full Games Codename Gordon Euthanasia 1.0 Fakteur Peggle Extreme and more...

Movie Trailers Grudge Match The Nut Job Losers Take All and more...

Game Trailers Warface Darkest Dungeon Galactic Civilizations and more...


053 World View

On The DV­­­Ds


No need for speed

Canon P-201

Digital life

Our pick of the best articles from around the world.

101 Devworx

>Code > Creativity > Community

Features 046 Sci-Tech

Find out what the new update to AMD’s Radeon line-up has in store for us.

064 Workshop


Learn how you can do wonders with your pen drive.

3.8GB of secure Linux Distributions


99 Zebronics Gladiator Rome would be ashamed

18 Security Tools

100 Sandisc Extreme II 240GB One expensive but quick SSD

Digit | November 2013 | 5

November 2013 • Volume 13 • Issue 11 Products reviewed this month

To Advertise

Editorial Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith Features Editor Siddharth Parwatay Multimedia Co-ordinator Siddhant Sharma Test Centre Manager, Test Centre Jayesh Shinde Reviewers Vishal Mathur, Sameer Mitha, Swapnil Mathur, Anirudh Regidi Intern Siddhant Sharma, Prakrit Dhondiyal Product Co-ordinator Shweta Mali Assistant Vikas Patil

Ashampoo anti-virus ASUS RP-N53 Range Extender ASUS WiFi AC Adapter USB-AC53

South: Ram Sarangi, Mobile: +91-98864 06961 Jijo George, Mobile: +91-7676881480

BlackBerry 9720 Cooler Master 690 III

West: Sajeed Momin, Mobile: +91-98192 44603 Suvarna Shringarpure, Mobile: +91-93249 28247 North: Debleena Majumdar, Mobile: +91-98101 19492 East: Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Mobile: +91-93318 29284

HP Slate 21 Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 LG G2 Logitech UE900 Rapoo 3920p Ricoh GR SanDisk Extreme II 240GB Sony Xperia Z1

Toshiba Q series 128GB

TP-LINK TL-WN823N Wireless N USB Adapter

advertising index Brand

WD Black 4TB WD4001FAEX

Page No

Zebronics Gladiator Zebronics Tabmate

4Charge...............................................................................23 Acro Engineering............................................................. 49


M PL Online Editor Soham Raninga Assistant Editor Nikhil Pradhan Sr. Sub Editor Kul Bhushan


Sales Director: Vinodh Kaliappan, Mobile: +91-97407 14817


Managing Director Dr Pramath Raj Sinha Printer and Publisher Kanak Ghosh Publishing Director Asheesh Gupta


Design Sr. Creative Director: Jayan K Narayanan Sr. Art Director: Anil VK Associate Art Director: Anil T Sr. Visualisers: Manav Sachdev, Shokeen Saifi & Sristi Maurya Visualiser: NV Baiju Sr. Designers: Shigil Narayanan, Haridas Balan & Manoj Kumar VP Designers: Charu Dwivedi, Peterson PJ, Pradeep G Nair, Dinesh Devgan & Vikas Sharma Consulting Sr. Art Director: Binesh Sreedharan Consulting Designer: Vijay Padaya Marcom Designer: Rahul Babu Studio Chief Photographer: Subhojit Paul Sr. Photographer: Jiten Gandhi

ASUS.....................................................7, 9. 59, 61, 63, 65

Production and Logistics Sr GM - Operations Shivshankar Hiremath Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay Asst Production Manager Vilas Mhatre Production Assistant Brahmanand Nikalje Manager Logistics Vijay Menon Asst Mgr Production & Logistics M P Singh Executives Mohd. Nadeem Ansari, Nilesh Shiravadekar Brand Product Mgr Arun Yadav Asst Product Mgr Sourabha Shakya Mgr - Online Shauvik Kumar Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh

Circulation Sales National Co-ordinator Samir Mehta Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya, Norbert Joseph Manager Circulation Dharmendra Singh Executive Vijay Mhatre Reader Services Lead Associate Itishree Mishra Executives Pinky, Sudhir, Shabana, Pradeep +91-22-67899678 /

6 Digit | November 2013 |




Belkin AC1200DB

Cyber Solutions................................................................31

Belkin N600DB


D-Link DIR-810L

D-Link DIR-868L


Digisol DG-BG4100N

India AV.............................................................................117

Digisol DG-BR4000N\E


Digisol DG-BR4313NG

LEO Impact.......................................................................51

Edimax BR-6478AC Netgear JNR1010


Netgear JNR3210

Logitech........................................................................... IBC


Mediatech............................................................................27 Micromax.............................................................................13



Trendnet TEW-811DRU


Trendnet TEW-812DRU



Contributors Writers Mithun Mohandas Copy editing Infancia Cardozo

Asrock.......................................................................... 25. 29


Top Notch............................................................................19

Dell Inspiron One 2020


HP 18-1106in

TP-LINK............................................................................. 39

HP Pavilion 21-a255in

Published, Printed and Owned by Nine Dot Nine Interactive Pvt. Ltd. Published and printed on their behalf by Kanak Ghosh. Published at Bunglow No. 725 Sector - 1, Shirvane, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. 400706. Printed at Print House (India) Pvt. Ltd. R-847, TTC Industrial Area, MIDC, Rable, Navi Mumbai 400701. Editor: Anuradha Das Mathur

“We do not endorse or recommend any product or service advertised in the magazine. The advertisement’s in this magazine are for information purposes only. We do not, expressly or impliedly, warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the quality, accuracy, completeness, legality, reliability, usefulness or claims of any product or service advertised in the magazine. Our readers are strongly advised to carry out their own independent assessment of the product or services advertised in the magazine.”

Disclaimer For every Digit contest, there will be only one winner, unless specified otherwise. In the event of a dispute, the Editor’s decision shall be final.

HP Pavilion TouchSmart 23-f201in HP ENVY 23-d200in TouchSmart HP ENVY Rove 20 Lenovo IdeaCentre C340 Lenovo IdeaCentre C440 Lenovo IdeaCentre B540 Lenovo IdeaCentre A730 Lenovo IdeaCentre Horizon Camera Phones Apple iPhone 5 HTC One Dual LG G2 Nokia Lumia 1020 Nokia Lumia 925 Nokia Lumia 920 Samsung Galaxy Zoom Sony Xperia Z1

Contact us Tell us what you feel about Digit If you have an opinion about anything published in Digit, or about technology in general, write to or call at +91-22-678 99 700. To interact with the authors of specific articles, please write to the email address specified under the author’s name Software on the DVDs To submit and suggest software or any other type of content, to be included in the Digit DVDs, write to or call +91-22-678 99 707

Q&A If you’re having trouble with your PC or a gadget, our experts can help solve your problems. Just write in to Remember to include full system configurations in your email.

Join the group that suits your need! thinkdigit Your favourite magazine on your favourite social network. Interact with thousands of Digit readers and have some geeky fun! techkranti Let’s wake ourselves up and gather the tools of tech to change the future of our great nation. Join The Revolution!


Agent001 Our very own secret agent will give you the lowdown on what to buy, from where and for how much. Send in all your buying advice or questions to the coolest agent ever. Write to

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Subscribe Want to subscribe to India’s #1 Technology Magazine? You should, because we have exciting offers for everyone, and you save money in the bargain. SMS: <DIGIT SUB> to 92200 92200 or visit Product testing Want your product reviewed by Digit? Contact our Test Center at or call +91-22-678 99 708

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Interact with Team Digit Forum 8 Digit | November 2013 | IThinkGadgets Community of People who love mobiles, laptops, cameras & other gadgets consumermate Expert buying advice and some awesome offers Community of software programmers who enjoy writing code and want to grow their career in software development



) Hello Team Digit, this is my first ever

Feedback for the October 2013 issue of Digit


letter to you. You said on the cover ''360 reasons to pick up this issue” and I must say that there are not only 360, but thousands of reasons to pick up last month’s issue. The cover is really festive. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I’m very happy about the advertisements for new desktop PCs, laptop, phones, etc. Now I have better knowledge of new iPhones, Galaxies, Xperias and BlackBerrys. The cover story, ''the 50 mistakes'' was really very useful/true, and it helped to grow my knowledge. The “30 gadgets to buy this Diwali'' feature gave me even more knowledge of the newest gadgets but the ''online shopping' story was pointless. Your product reviews are really good, and Dgt and the DVDs are very useful. I have a suggestion for you: why don't you add a price list of new products such as processors, motherboards, GPUs, storage drives etc. in Digit. And finally the package of the October issue was extremely gorgeous. l'll give 5+ out of 5 stars to your magazine. My English isn’t very good, so please don't mind the errors in my letter. By the way, my T-shirt size is normal. I'll be glad to wear a Digit T-shirt (just kidding). –NK Kalita

Joey Spiotto aka Joebot seems to be rather good at making cartooned book covers based on pop culture themes. Take a look:



Cartooned Pop Culture

The world of tech is always abuzz with rumour and releases. Get your fix here.


Ah we seem to have another letter dropping a not-so-subtle hint about the digit t-shirt. Well, you’ll have to try harder :-) But thank you so much for the feedback. We do try to put up-to-date price lists in our “Price Watch” section every month, but we can’t possibly stick to only PC components. We have to try to cover other categories as well. Do keep writing in. –Siddharth

can answer them easily only because of Digit magazine. I also recommend them to buy Digit as it is India's best technology magazine. I like your software in the CDs. Since I like developing apps, software and web pages could you please add more information, software and tutorials in CDs focusing on developing. I like your Fast Track booklets and also read the devworx section. All your magazines are essential in keeping me updated about the tech world. Please continue and keep up the good work. –Anirudha Gorad

) Hello, this is my first mail to you. I am a

13-year-old guy. I’ve always loved to know about new technology, software, gadgets etc. I bought the first Digit magazine at a bookstand and consequently subscribed to it. You guys are really fabulous. I like your cover stories and articles which have many times been useful. I know how you added the Digit 101 section to suit the needs of new readers. When my friends ask me anything about gadgets I

10 Digit | November 2013 |

Thank you for your kind words Anirudha. We’ll surely have more dev content on the DVDs in the coming issues. Knowing your taste I’m sure you’ll like our FastTrack this month. We’ve covered developing for Firefox. Also, do check out the devworx pages for tips on securing your website and our interview with whacky and talented Javascript wizard, Sunil Pai. –Siddharth ) Hi Siddharth, just read your column.

Looks like you’ve taken the Introduction to Psychology course on Coursera ;) (It was a great course by the way). I haven't been following Digit religiously over the past two years because my MBA course

takes up a lot of time (I was a fan boy before). It was good to see a computer geek talk about psychology! We computer geeks are often falsely perceived to be a bit robotic when it comes to emotions but with you (and me) interested in psychology, it seems that we’re evolving :D Team Digit is doing a great job! Best of luck for all future editions! –Abhishek Kumar

Thanks for the vote of confidence Abhishek. I got a notification about the course some time ago but no, I didn’t end up taking the course. Much of what I was talking about in the column was from this book I read recently titled “You Are Not So Smart”. It’s a revelatory read and I’d recommend it to anyone even remotely interested in psychology. And you are right about us evolving. Geeks shall definitely inherit the earth :-) –Siddharth ) Happy Diwali to you, Team Digit.

It’s an awesome experience to open this enchanting magazine in the first week of the month. The October issue really deserved to be a collectible – not just for the current generation but for the coming generation also. You made a mistake on the cover page when you said "360 Reasons to Pick

Web Watch



The web is changing as we speak. Read out to explore the latest developments triggered by other advancements in this space

App Watch


Get ready to rock these navigation apps. Also, don’t miss the dedicated Dish TV app for Live TV on your mobile devices

A future-friendly present The month sprang quite a few pleasant surprises. Read on...

BlackBerry has not forgotten that the enterprise audience is still critical to its survival. The letter says that in a BYOD scenario, BlackBerry’s devices are much easier to manage and are more secure than Android and iOS. The company reveals that it saw an increase in BES 10 (BlackBerry Enterprise Service) subscribers from 19,000 to 25,000 in the previous quarter, and also speaks about being the best in class mobile social network. Well, Android and iOS users are still waiting to experience a taste of this, with the delay of the official BBM release for the two platforms. We’re not really sure if a letter would be enough to prevent customers from jumping ship to other platforms, but it’s definitely heart-warming to see that BlackBerry is still putting on a brave and confident face. Read the open letter at


The Nexus 5 appeared briefly on the Google Play store in October. The listing seemed to be an error since the smartphone could not be purchased. The price for the 16GB variant of the Nexus 5 was listed at `21,456 ($349). Codenamed Hammerhead, the smartphone was no longer visible on the Google Play store a few hours later. Its tagline “Capture the everyday and the epic in fresh new ways” leads us to believe that the camera will be one of the USPs of the Nexus 5. Twitteratti hinted that the Nexus 5 would be unveiled on October 28. Leaks regarding the Nexus 5 have been making the rounds on the internet for some time now. It all started with the official unveiling of Android

KitKat (Android 4.4) where the Nexus 5 was accidently spotted in the video. When the Nexus 4 was launched around this same time last year, it was available in two variants: 16GB priced at $349 and 8GB at $299 (`18,382).


Nexus 5 makes a brief appearance on the Google Play Store for `21,000

Ingram Micro to offer iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C in India from November


Information Technology distributor Ingram Micro has tied up with Apple to offer iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C at trade stores and retail outlets across India beginning Friday, November 1. Prices are as follow: iPhone 5s • 16GB – `53,500 • 32GB – `62,500 • 64GB – `71,500 iPhone 5c • 16GB – `41,900 • 32GB – `53,500 The two smartphones will be available contract-free in India, but will also be sold by Airtel and Reliance Communications. Both the service providers have promised to offer attractive data and talk plans with the two devices.

BlackBerry slashes Z10, Q10 and Q5 prices for its enterprise customers; writes open letter

Looks similar to the Nexus 7

Aiming to cash in on the festive season in the country, BlackBerry announced that it would be slashing prices of its new smartphones for existing BlackBerry Enterprise Service (BES) 10 customers.

20 Digit | November 2013 |

iPhone 5s’ many colours

Prices for enterprise customers: • Q10 – `39,990 • Z10 – `29,000 • Q5 – `22,699 Prices for retail customers: • Q10 – `44,900 • Z10 – `27,500 • Q5 – `24,500

BB writes an open letter

After being at the receiving end of bad press and many a speculation, BlackBerry has shot back at detractors with an open-letter to customers with which the smartphone manufacturer wants “to set the record straight”. BlackBerry said that it has substantial cash on hand, and a debt-free balance sheet. It’s important to note that the company isn’t shying away from or denying the existence of the current situation: “These are no doubt challenging times for us and we don’t underestimate the situation or ignore the challenges. We are making the difficult changes necessary to strengthen BlackBerry.” However, the confidence is more than apparent in the rest of the letter. While the letter is aimed at almost all smartphone users,

RCom launches ‘Awesome America’ roaming pack for postpaid GSM users Reliance Communications (RCom) has introduced a new international roaming scheme for its postpaid GSM customers travelling to the U.S called the “Awesome America” pack. It offers a discount of up to 98 percent on data usage and upto 76 per cent on voice calling on roaming. The pack is available for `849 with a validity of 30 days.

Canon P-201

Canon’s new portable scanner weighs 550g & measures 312.5 x 55.5 x 40mm. Price: `11,995/-

Digital life

No need for speed

The next installment in the NFS series will be avoiding the next gen Wii console


If you’ve ever fancied King Midas, you’ll probably love this pure 18-carat gold beauty. If the HTC One wasn’t already one of the most well-crafted smartphones ever made, the Gold is yet another reason to buy it, but be advised – only five of these were ever made by HTC to celebrate the 18th anniversary of MOBO Awards and each costs $4,420 or `2,87,500 to be precise. Though it’s hard to get your hands on one of these, it doesn’t hurt to try.


HTC One Gold


Take what you want, but leave me my toys!

32 Digit | November 2013 |

Red Harbinger Cross Desk

Usually we use a desk to keep our PCs on but the Red Harbinger Cross Desk destroys that concept. As per its design, the Harbinger is a desk and a PC case rolled into one. Inspired by the immensely popular and award-winning L3p D3sk modding project, the Cross Desk can accommodate the most costliest and most outrageous computer components your mind can possibly think of. And get this: you can build two separate rigs, add the huge liquid cooling components, install twenty 3.5-inch drives, hide cables using its excellent cable management system and add some futuristic lighting to pimp up your desk. This ridiculously awesome desk can be yours for a measly $1,700. The cost doesn’t include the PC hardware, shipping and customs. Add this up and what you get is a nice way to burn your Diwali bonus.


The Naked Truth


Cover story

How your privacy is dying a slow death online


Nikhil Pradhan


here is a war going on right now, and unbeknownst to you, you are both the soldier and the casualty in it. Like most wars, this one is made up of a collection of battles rather than a single massive conflict taking place in one spot. However, unlike most wars where the opposing forces tend to be somewhat evenly matched (in one or the other aspect), here we have the behemoths of entire governments along with multi-billion dollar corporations fighting against lone individuals. People like you and me.

34 Digit | November 2013 |

Come to think of it, this isn’t a war, it’s more of a slaughter. Writing about privacy (or rather the wholesale murder of it), in the wake of the Snowden revelations is a depressing affair. This is not because the fight to regain control over our online lives looks extremely difficult, but rather because we’ve already lost that fight and the only thing we can do now is try and staunch the bleeding and cauterize the wounds. This process did not happen overnight, no, it happened incrementally as we became more and more willing to choose conveni-

ence over privacy, while companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo encouraged it – hell, incentivized it. Now, anyone with access to the databases of these companies can paint (and in certain cases, have painted) a complete picture of a person based on their online footprint. And now as the governments around the world tighten the screws on these companies and spy on each other, your privacy is at risk, and as creepy as it may sound, you are, for all intents and purposes, naked to someone with intent and access to your data. Imagine, private emails sent between

Cover story



Workshop: Protect your privacy online


The NSA just showed us how limited our online privacy truly is. Here is a small workshop that just might be able to restore some measure of privacy to your current, pseudoprivate online life.


efore we begin, we need a disclaimer of sorts. None of the methods we’re listing out here are guaranteed to offer privacy. As we don’t have any spies inside the NSA (or any other security agency for that matter) and have no access to any concrete evidence to support the claimed features of the services we will list, we don’t know for sure if the methods actually work. What we can say is that steps and services that we’ll list in the following article will, in theory, provide

42 Digit | November 2013 |

Anirudh Regidi

a far more secure and private online life than you previously experienced. The big question is not how you protect your privacy, but rather, why? What do you hope to achieve? Complete Internet anonymity? Do you just want to hide a bit of, ahem, indiscreet browsing? Are you an activist hell-bent on joining the ranks of Anonymous and the like? The latter is something that we can’t help you with, but the rest, well, let’s see. First, here are a list of general guidelines that you need to follow while online.

There won’t be much point in worrying about whether Google is reading your Gmail if your accounts are open already compromised is there? • Passwords: Probably the most important component of your online life, the password is much neglected by most. No matter how many times we’re told that we need multiple, strong, secure passwords, we don’t keep them. Maybe we’re lazy or maybe we’re just short on memory, who knows? The point is, people who tell you to change

Space age



We’ve been to Mars – our space probes and robots have been there – but are there more trips lined up?


Fiske Planetarium in Colorado recently reopened with newly incorporated 8K screens

AMD GPU14 Tech Day:

New beginnings


There’s a Radeon revival on the horizon with new GPUs, new features, backed by a bold new AMD. Excited?

Jayesh Shinde



t the beginning of the year, AMD showcased the new Radeon 8000 series GPUs at CES 2013, on a few partner products (all either laptops or ultrabooks), all made from the existing chips found on the Radeon HD 7000 series cards. As the world waited frustratingly for a tangible graphics update on AMD’s Radeon desktop lineup, it never materialized around their speculated launch dates. A lot of gamers blamed Grinch, but he wasn’t really to be blamed for not delivering shiny new Radeon GPUs to graphics-starved PC gamers. While we were all contemplating whether AMD had overshot another one of its deadlines – and the chip maker’s rather infamous of doing it – something big was brewing within the company. We got an early sign of things to come during the middle-of-the-year next-gen gaming console sneak peek (remember the PS4 and Xbox One announcement events?). Was it all a big coincidence that AMD managed to convince not just Microsoft but also Sony to become the hardware platform of choice for the next wave of gaming consoles (including the Nintendo Wii U released late last year)? In one fell swoop, AMD positioned itself at the centre of traditional console gaming, and we wondered what more the company hid

Raja Koduri speaking about AMD’s new GPUs, and introducing Mantle – a new GPU API


behind closed doors. Tech and products that would still have to wait before they were revealed to inquisitive, rejoicing, and uncompromising eyes. However, in Hawaii of all places, AMD finally rolled back the curtains and gave the world a glimpse of what it’s been working on for the past several months.

New AMD R9 and R7 series GPUs are out! 46 Digit | November 2013 |

AMD Radeon R9 and R7 series GPUs For those of us who wondered when AMD was going to finally launch its 8000 series of graphics cards, well there’s some news for you. There will be no 8000 series of cards, as AMD’s changing the nomenclature for its GPUs. That’s right, the four digit number naming convention wasn’t sustainable “with an eye on the future,” according to AMD, and let’s face it the “HD” tag in the GPU names was getting old, too. They not only revealed their new GPU naming convention, but AMD also unveiled the much-anticipated successor to the HD 7990, the Radeon R9-290X – AMD’s

fastest graphics card yet – and Radeon R9-290, both of which sport a brand new silicon architecture inside. There’s also the R9 280X and R9 270X which when coupled with the previous two cards complete the top-end, aimed at uber gamers and priced highest accordingly. At the other end of the spectrum lies AMD Radeon R7 series comprising Radeon R7 240, R7 250, and R7 260X, which is targeted at budget to average gamers who desire more value out of their buck. The AMD Radeon R9-290X is the flagship GPU of AMD’s 2014 lineup, and it’s a beast of a device. However, the entire Radeon R9 290 series sports some common features like over 5 TFLOPS of computing horsepower, over 300 GBps of memory bandwidth, ability to process 4 billion triangles per second, and they have more than 6 billion individual transistors. Another peculiar feature of all the new AMD Radeon R9 and R7 series of GPUs is that none of them have external CrossFire – neither the ports or the bridge. All of that’s being taken care of through

Our pick of the best tech articles from around the globe

(Must reads)

[Extreme Tech Corner]


The machine stops

NASA’s space pen myth


Remember the urban legend claiming NASA spent millions of dollars on a pen that works in zero-g when they could’ve simply used a pencil? (Yes the one seen in 3 Idiots.) It turns out pencils can’t be used in space but NASA didn’t really spend millions on creating such a pen. Read on:

The 10 most expensive vehicles to operate

If you thought the Bugatti Veyron was the most expensive you’d be wrong. The Apollo lunar roving vehicle had a cost per mile of $5.9 billion! From supercars to supercarriers, when it comes to burning dollars faster than gasoline, these 10 vehicles are the absolute worst. Check them out:


The truth about Christopher Columbus

Was old Chris Columbus a brave adventurer and explorer who discovered the new world? Or was he sex slaver, mass murderer, and champion of sociopathic imperialism? In typical Oatmeal fashion, this post attacks this illusion and questions the existence of Columbus Day:

What will happen if vital technology based services stop? Services that have almost been raised to a god like status. Be it the internet, the electricity grid, fossil fuel supply we’re supremely dependent on them. Read this chilling account.

US shutdown, in lego By now you’ve probably read the headlines of the US government shutdown. If you’ve been wondering how an organization like the government can shut down, this article will explain it all via Lego:

Meet the ‘Terminator’ polymer The material can spontaneously ‘heal’ itself in a matter of two hours. Sounds freaky? It is. The material uses an elastomeric matrix – a network of complex molecular interactions that will spontaneously cross-link to “heal” any break. Check it out:

Sony’s PS4 is made this way? It seems the new PS4 is made with the blood and tears of blackmailed student labourers who were told to work as unpaid “interns” in the Foxconn factory. The students were told that if they did not accept the position, they’d lose 6 course credits, fatal for their graduation.

NVIDIA’s working on a 64-bit Tegra 6 chip? After Apple unveiled its 64-bit chip (the benefits of which are still not very clear), NVIDIA doesn’t want to be left behind. It seems Project Denver is the 64-bit processing core ready in early 2014 as part of the Parker SoC. Read more: Digit | November 2013 | 53

Tips & Tricks



In this issue, learn how to optimize your gaming experience, internet connection and boost your Windows startup time



You thought that pen drive was only for transferring files? Think again. Let us show you its hidden talents.

Android tablets going haywire, inaccessible drives, troubling AutoPlay…. AutoPlay not working

• 7” 1024*600 screen • 4000mAh battery. The problem is that it gets very sluggish at times and force reboots at least six times a day. Recently, red thick borders have starting flashing on the screen. So I am forced to reboot and factory reset my tablet a couple of times a day. Please help me fix this. I also wanted to know how can i overclock my tablet, and will it cause any kind of infringement or hiccups with my device? –Rithvik Reddy Gaddam.


I am facing an issue with my PC. The AutoPlay feature for various devices like CD or USB has stopped working. Earlier AutoPlay was working fine, but now whenever I plug in any device into the computer, nothing happens and I don’t see the AutoPlay prompt. Please provide a remedy for my problem. –Chinmoy Das


System issues or failing gadgets never seem to deter the good folks of team digit and thinkdigit forum and they come to the rescue to troubleshoot the digital lives of our readers.

Since your tablet reboots frequently, there seems to be something very wrong with it. If it’s still under warranty, you should take it to your nearest Samsung service center and get it checked.The thick red flashing borders that you see sometimes is an outcome of Strict Mode on Android. Strict Mode is basically a developer tool that detects your device’s disk read, write and network processes and tells you when apps do long operations on the main thread. In simpler words, whenever there is too much load on on your device’s GPU, it brings them to your attention so that you can fix them. In order to get rid of this, just follow these steps: • Open Settings > Developer Options; • Scroll down a little bit and find the Strict Mode option; • Uncheck or unmark this Strict Mode option; • Restart your tablet Overclocking a mobile device is always risky. Overclocking would normally require you to root your Android device which would void its warranty.


To fix this, first head over to the Control Panel and search for AutoPlay. A list will pop up containing several types of media and devices. Tick the checkboxes for all the media or devices for which you want to enable Autoplay. Once you’re done, click “Save”. AutoPlay should now be enabled for your devices. If this doesn’t work, Click the “Start” button. In the search box type “services.msc” and press Enter. In the list of services find “Shell Hardware Detection” and ensure that this service is running. If not, right-click on the service and start it. Right-click on the service again and select “Properties”. In the “Startup type” drop down menu, select “Automatic” and click on the “OK” button. You can also search for “Microsoft Fix it 50475” online and download the Microsoft AutoPlay Repair Wizard. Use this tool and try to fix the problem. For more solutions to the issue, head here: HelpAutoPlay

Tablet trouble Hi, I have a problem with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 - 310. Its specs are• 1Ghz processor. Power VR GPU • Android 4.0.4 62 Digit | November 2013 |

Disable Strict Mode from the developer options settings menu

You should only go about it if you know what you’re doing as any wrong step may result in your device becoming useless. If you still want to go ahead with it you should check out

Write protected flash drive I am having a particular issue with my Transcend 4GB pen drive. Whenever I insert this flash drive in my PC, it shows me that the drive is write protected and bitlocker status is on. What to do? Please help me. –Guru Prasath

Wi-Fi routers test


All-in-one desktops


Need a compact, space-saving alternative to your old desktop? Read to find out what are the options like



Tried & Tested

Take control of that wireless network with some of the best routers available for purchase

Point and shoot!


Cellphone cameras have improved a lot over the years and so we pit eight smartphone cameras in this shoot-out and let you know which snapper is the absolute best of the lot for your needs

Swapnil Mathur


aying that cellphones have come a long way would be one of the biggest understatements of the year. They’ve gone from large, clunky monochromed bricks to devices that are designed with elegance and have rendered the notebook, the mp3 player, and even wallets (in some cases) obsolete! The cellphone advancement is heading in the

direction of being the “onedevice-to-rule-them-all”. It has its eyes set on replacing your point and shoot camera. With society becoming increasingly connected, thanks to social media and its increasing need to share information in a world where individual citizens try to grasp on to the fading idea of privacy, the camera has become extremely essential for the proper functioning of this social machine. Earlier, it was “take your camera, shoot the

72 Digit | November 2013 |

party, go home, transfer photos to your PC and THEN post them online.” The process was long and tedious and someone had the genius idea of “what if you could just take the photos on your phone?” While it was a solid notion, the problem was that cellphone cameras with their miniature sensors just couldn’t match up to the quality of even the basic point and shoot. Today, all that changes. We have with us eight cellphones

with industry-leading camera modules. Nokia revolutionized the game with the PureView 808 and its 41 megapixel sensor and then again with the Lumia 920, the first cellphone to have optical image stabilization built in. Sony brought another game changer, by putting a point and shoot camera sensor and optics into a phone. Then there is the iPhone, which changed how much we all shared online. The LG G2 brings a totally novel shooting ergonomic into an

The spy game

Take a look at this article to know more about spies and their clandestine lives

Wi-Fi routers

EA appoints new CEO

EA veteran Andrew Wilson was appointed as the new CEO of Electronic Arts, replacing John Riccitiello. He’ll be paid an annual salary of $800,000



Rootin Tootin Routers


Super fast routers go head to head in this shootout featuring both single and dual band routers

Mithun Mohandas


icking up an 802.11ac cer t if ied router would have been almost impossible last year, given the rarity and price of compatible devices. Things have changed though and 802.11ac can now be officially labelled as mainstream.

There is a minor caveat though, most devices will probably be based on the draft 802.11ac specifications. Nevertheless, the tech grapevine is rife with rumours regarding the next 802.11ac capable mobile device, laptop and tablet.

So what’s new? Well pretty much nothing actually. The current 802.11ac

80 Digit | November 2013 |

devices have scaled up a bit and maximum throughput is currently 600 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band. If you’d have paid any attention to these figures then having 600 Mbps on the 2.4 GHz should’ve stood out since it was limited to 450 Mbps till now. The increment is due to a new modulation algorithm, 256QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation); currently only Broadcom has this technology so you can expect Broadcom-to-Broadcom communication to hit the 1900 Mbps limit while all other devices will still be limited to 1750 Mbps. Broadcom calls this TurboQAM and we saw it in action in the ASUS PCE-A68 that we used as a reference card in our test. We also saw our first Dualcore processor based router – ASUS RT-AC68U which has a Broadcom BCM4708A. Rated at 1GHz, this processor is faster than that on a lot of the smartphones we have in the market. Let’s hope this doesn’t kick off

an unnecessary CPU war in this category though.

Interface Something that usually gets overlooked is the firmware that routers ship with. Most manufacturers seem to be deliberately restricting the functionality of lower-end routers to push their higherend models. As long the router supports custom firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT and others, you shouldn’t be worried about this. That being said, installing the said custom firmware does require a fair amount of networking and programming knowledge and it isn’t something that amateurs should take lightly. Of note here is ASUS, which is doing something that we wish more manufacturers would do, namely, releasing the source-code to their firmware! This is a boon for geeks the world over and something that should translate to increased sales considering the increased customisability

Origin of Music

So where do you think music came from? Opinions may differ, but see what this guy has to say

Cygnus is a commercial freighter constructed for the International Space Station. What happened to it?



Desktop All-in-ones Test

Cygnus Gone


More than just PCs Jayesh Shinde


ith the whole post-PC rhetoric, one wonders if any desktop formats are a lucrative business anymore. You’d be surprised to know that far

from being consigned to the doldrums of history, the PC continues to reinvent itself and fights on. Nowhere is this trend more evident than among allin-one desktops – sleek, sexy specimens that are taking the draconian desktop to unforeseen places that it once dreamt of in happier times. After a brief

86 Digit | November 2013 |

Desktop PCs are evolving thick and fast to do more than just stay relevant. We test and review 11 fancy all-in-one PCs from leading manufacturers to help you pick the right one. lull last year, we’re seeing a lot of interesting all-in-one desktops in the market, especially from HP and Lenovo, and they sent pretty much their entire product portfolio for us to test and review in this feature – along with a lone candidate from Dell. We’ve been tracking the allin-one desktop space keenly

over the past several years, with the firm opinion that every other manufacturer in the space was trying to emulate the Apple iMac’s magic. However, improving hardware standards and the growing influence of smartphone and tablets is reflecting on the allin-one desktop space. Brands


If you have an iOS or Android device, you can make some of the reviews in this Bazaar section come alive. Step 1: Install “Zoop” (from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store)


The latest products reviewed For you



Want to experience Augmented reality?

The Digit Test Centre receives hundreds of products every month. Each of these products is put through a series of tests and is finally given a score. The final score is arrived at after considering a number of factors and evaluating them in terms of features, performance, value for money, build quality, and, in the case of software, even ease of use.

Step 2: Look for images that have the Zoop tag and scan them using the Zoop app (example below).

For better understanding of our ratings, here’s a quick guide to our overall score to


Extremely poor product. Keep away!






Strictly OK.




Decent product.




Very good product.


to 100

Not recommended

Go for it, but there may be better products out there.

Highly recommended.

Ground-breaking product.

We’ve never seen anything like it before. A definite must buy!

Step 3: Enjoy an augmented reality Digit like never before Remember to send feedback about this initiative to

PLUS 94 95 95 96 97 98 98 99 99 100 100

| ASUS RP-N53 Range Extender | Logitech Ultimate Ears 900 | Ricoh GR | Cooler Master 690 III | LG G2 | Blackberry 9720 | Kaspersky Internet Security 2014 | Sony Xperia Z1 | Zebronics Gladiator | SanDisk Extreme II 240GB | WD Black 4TB WD4001FAEX

& M ORE . . . 92 Digit | November 2013 |

Not a “Guitar” Guitar!

For Relaxing Gamers

Gittler’s guitar is a baseless titanium beauty. Shiny, sleek and completely size zero!

Gaming isn’t just for the hardcore fraggers and headstrong action-oriented Gamers, anymore. Check these out:


ASUS RP-N53 Range Extender

Zebronics Tabmate

Rapoo 3920p Expensive wireless mouse

Small wonder

When the default range just doesn’t cut it.


he Tabmate Bluetooth keyboard from Zebronics caters to the portability and productivity demands of the tablet generation. It’s extremely slim, and probably the slimmest keyboard we’ve reviewed. The Tabmate has a stainless steel brushed back with an in-built, rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery. The battery takes about five hours to charge and the keyboard uses a standard Micro USB cable for charging included within the pack. The keyboard comes with different function keys that work with both iOS and Android, and they double up as multimedia combos as well. With a decent wireless range and good tactile keys, the Tabmate is a nice option to consider for a feature-rich, portable keyboard.




or those who don’t like to use the laptop touchpad, here’s a worthy wireless mouse to consider. The 3920p from Rapoo is like any other wireless mouse but it has a nice glossy finish on its curvy body. The 3920p has a rubber coating along both its sides for added grip. Its laser sensor works well and the overall mouse tracking is good. We also liked the addition of a DPI switch on the mouse that allows you to switch between 880 and 1650 DPI on-the-fly. Other features include a scroll wheel with tilt support and side buttons for back and forward operations. At `3,349 the 3920p is expensive, considering you may get something similar at a cheaper price. Worth considering if you get it for a less though.



ange extenders aren’t a common purchase since most people are tricked into buying bigger and more powerful routers which have high-gain antennae. However, they are the economical choice given that most high powered routers tend to cost a lot more. Visually, this product has deviated from ASUS’ usual colour scheme of black body couPrice9 6,6ta4tive) pled with blue LEDs. (Ten Instead it has a white ised to turn on/off with a body with a mild white simple tap on the front. light at the back and blue Like most extenders even LED indicators on the front. this one can be used as an The pattern on the front is the Extender or as an Access point. same as seen in most ASUS The WPS button can be used to products, the very peculiar connect the extender to a router award winning design which it that supports WPS, unfortuhas carried forth since 2010 on nately, the same does not apply almost every router and USB to devices which want to conadapter. The lights on the front nect to the extender via WPS. and the back can be customAnd talking about the range, it did a pretty good job given that we could still connect to the extender from roughly 70 feet away and run a complete run on Also, if your router is transmitting on Features.....................................78 a single band then the extender Performance.............................83 can extend the same on both Build Quality.............................81 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Value for Money.......................65 A feature that was new to this particular model was the Specifications 3.5mm jack that it had which 802.11 a/b/g/n; 2.4GHz/5GHz; 4.5 x 3.1 can be hooked up to your x 8.5 cm; 300 Mbps Uplink; 300 Mbps speakers and you can stream Downlink; Ethernet port; 3.5mm music using the AiPlayer app Audio port which is available for both Contact Android and iOS. Or you ASUS Technology Pvt. Ltd could simply select one of the Phone: +91 22 6766 8800 / internet radio streams featured 18002090365 on the device. Email: Website: Mithun Mohandas

Price 9 3,34

Price 1,350


94 Digit | November 2013 |

79 Features.....................................79 Build Quality.............................81 Value for money.......................77


Key Type: Membrane keys; Compatibility: PC, Mac, Android, iOS; Bluetooth Version: 3.0; Dimensions: 206.5 x 81.7 x 12.1 mm; Weight: 220 grams; Warranty: 1 year


Top Notch Infotronix India pvt ltd(Zebronics) Phone: 044-40000007 Email: Website:

66 Features.....................................75 Build Quality.............................73 Value for money.......................50


Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/ Win7/Win8, USB port; Connectivity: 5GHz wireless; Battery type: 2 x AA batteries (included); Warranty: 2 yrs


Rapoo Technologies Ltd Phone: +919899994802 Email: Website:

> code / creativity / community > Interview with Sunil Pai, UI Architect, Myntra

*side panel


NVIDIA announces Flame Works, Flex and GI Works technologies at Montreal

*Google offers cash


>>Not for free, of course. It’s for devs who not just privately report bugs to the search engine giant’s online services, but are also willing to do “proactive improvements that go beyond merely fixing a known security bug.” Volunteering with benefits!

*What languages to learn for Android development? >>If you’re just starting out as an app developer for the Android platform, take a look at some words of wisdom provided in the video link below


fluids, cloth, rigid, and semirigid bodies interact with each other in real time all at once. The demo showcased simulations of water balloons and rigid bodies being flung about by water waves. This presents some very interesting possibilities for the future of game design and end user experience. Flame Works: Remember games that had smoke wafting through other physical objects like ghosts? Say by to all that as Flame Works is a tool designed to render flame and smoke effects that interact with other physical objects in the scene. The idea is to have film-quality volumetric effects rendered in real time. Watch the demo here: http://


VIDIA announced three new dev tools at the Editor’s Day 2013 meet in Montreal Canada. The tools are a part of NVIDIA’s GameWorks library which has about 300 visual effects engineers working on it currently, many of whom hold PhDs. Making the announcement Tony Tamasi, Senior Vice President, Content & Technology emphasised the cross platform nature of many of these tools. The most interesting demos were of the three new tools announced. Find them explained below in detail: Flex: For the uninitiated, Flex is a unified GPU PhysX tool that helps integrate cross simulation interplay. What this means is that now you can have

GI Works: A tool for creating accurate global illumination effects, it will help game designers save time and resources by not having to place multitudes of tiny light sources to sort of “fake” global illumination. The idea is to create realistic in game visuals by making sure lights bounce off surfaces creating indirect lighting. GI works can create real-time specular or glossy reflections and lighting in shadows is also possible. We should start seeing games integrating all of the above technologies from early next year according to NVIDIA. For more on this and other announcements from Montreal, catch the extended report at for more news on these technologies.

*Kate for Linux simply rocks!

>>For all you Linux programmers out there, if you haven’t checked out Kate, you’re coding it all wrong. Seriously.

For latest news, updates and features, join us on Facebook at

devworx> | November 2013 | 101

Killer Rigs

Street smart


PCs for every budget, be it an entrylevel one, a HTPC or even a beast of a machine. They’re all here

Price Watch


Diwali is here. Bonuses are here as well. So blow your budget on tablets of every size and category you can think of.

Intel or AMD


Which processor mobo combos to buy? Deciding which to get can be quite the pain Agent 001



reason it may be) then you can swap out the board I’ve mentioned and opt for a board with as many PCI-e slots which you may need. What you need to do is ensure that whatever combination that you go for, you should check the motherboards “CPU supported list” to confirm if your processor would be compatible. Motherboards rarely affect performance unless you wish to overclock which is why I’ve assumed that most users in the mid-range and enthusiast segment would be interested in overclocking their processors. Hence, I’ve included stable motherboards whose VRM features plenty of power phases. In a bid to future-proof this list I’ve included a few processors that are yet to be launched in India but have enjoyed favourable reviews overseas in their respective categories. Also, I don’t judge


’ve been putting off a few config requests for quite some time because … um ... GTA V happened. Well it’s time to get back on track so I’ve decided to do a roundup of sorts and list just the processor and motherboard combinations since that’s what most dealers are bent on selling you anyways. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing since it does reduce the chances of the customer messing up the generation of AMD and Intel. Every other processor is a i3, i5, i7, A4, A6, A8 or an A10 but little do they notice that the nomenclature has been retained across multiple generations and this has been the bane of our existence. The nomenclature makes sense only for those who spell out the entire model numbers and such but if you call them purely by their segment name(i.e. i5 or A6) then you’re bound to get things wrong. Like all configuration tables even this is subject to modifications depending on your needs. If you need a heck lot of PCI-e cards on an HTPC (for whatever strange

Viable Processor-Motherboard Combos:

CPU Price in `

Low AMD FX-6300 7,632 ASUS M5A97-R2.0 7,295 Alternatives Low Intel i3-3220 7,900


ASRock Z77M



CPU Price in ` Motherboard Price

whether you are an AMD fanboy or an Intel loyalist so I’ve included both options. The AMD FX-9590 clocked at 4.7GHz with a boost clock of 5GHz should be priced in the same segment as the Core i7-3930K and going by benchmarks should suffice for games that load all available cores. Comparing the same to a 4960X is somewhat common on the internet but the 4960X is bound to be way ahead given that it costs roughly twice that of the 9590. Similarly, the Haswell i3-4340 should provide slightly better performance than the A10-5800K since early benchmarks have pegged it better at single-threaded and multi-threaded applications. On top of that it has a lower TDP and greater memory bandwidth so it’s economical too! But wait, the 5800K has an unlocked multiplier that should help to redeem itself against the i3-4340. A question that I often have to answer when I mention a certain processor is why not pay the extra `1000 and get the next SKU? Well, if you’ve got money to spare then go ahead by all means but if that same amount could be spent getting a more efficient power supply or cooling fans then that would be the smarter choice from an economic perspective. Given that most of these processors have a turbo mode that kicks in when the extra power is needed it really doesn’t make any sense to go for the very next SKU. Also benchmarks show that in most cases two subsequent SKU differ in performance by a meagre amount. So until next time, do keep sending in e-mails telling me how your configuration is better than mine. Toodles!

Mid Intel Core i5-4670K 17,120 Gigabyte Z87X-OC 19,635

High Intel Core i7-3930K 37,999 ASRock X79 Extreme6 19,750

HTPC AMD A10-5800K APU 8,905 ASRock FM2A75-DGS NA

Mid AMD FX-8350 13,230 ASUS Sabertooth 990FX-R2.0 18,389

High AMD FX-9590 TBA ASUS Sabertooth 990FX-R2.0 18,389

HTPC Intel i3-4340 TBA

106 Digit | November 2013 |

Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi NA

Industry connect

Tech @ Work


This month, take a note of the words of wisdom from eminent personalities in the tech industry.

Cancer Control

IBM’s Microfluidic Probe seems like a step closer to curing cancer. Read this article to know more:

Setting up your own NAS

The hard way!



There are plenty of out-of-the-box NAS solutions available, but not all of them are economical for a home/small office use. Here’s how you get around to building a full fledged NAS device and save a lot of money along the way.

Mithun Mohandas



AS (Network Attached Storage) devices are gaining in popularity by the day given the versatility that these devices have to offer. Not only do they offer a communal storage which is pretty much the basic function of these devices but they can be modified using the numerous plugins available to suit a lot of use case scenarios. You could always buy a NAS device with a similar level of versatility which should set you back by quite a bit. Or you could repurpose an old computer as a NAS device. We’ll walk you through the entire process.

drive or to the cloud. Finally, depending However, when your machine is turned upon which file system you’ve chosen off or experiences connectivity issues then you even have data redundancy so in the work might come to a standstill till your event one of your hard drives fails the machine is fixed. device will send you an alert well before Adding additional storage space the actual event occurs and all you have to requires a fair bit of configuration too not do is swap the faulty drive with a new one. to mention searching through all these The data copying and restoring is done files across multiple machines is quite automatically by the device. inefficient. A NAS is safe from network issues affecting individual machines. All files are indexed by most file systems and Software needed thus searching for a certain file is faster There are umpteen operating systems and required no user action to manually available for NAS devices. Most of them index newer partitions/drives. Adding a are based on a Linux kernel. We’ve chosen new drive to a NAS device is also an effortFreeBSD based FreeNAS for this little less procedure as a lot of motherboards tutorial. There is also U-NAS, unRAID, support hot-plugging on SATA ports. So OpenFiler, Greyhole, NexentaStor etc and you don’t even have to turn off the NAS for the more adventurous sort – any linux device to add extra storage, just plug in distro on the planet. FreeNAS is pretty your power and SATA cables and the much the most popular distro out there device’s operating system does the rest. for NAS and here’s why: You’d be surprised how economical it ZFS is a file system designed for is to setup a NAS device, a lot of NAS operenterprise storage solutions and is a bit ating systems are open source. Hardware heavy on resources but is something requirements aren’t outlandish, an old you just setup once and forget about it PC can be easily repurposed to be a NAS forever. It is faster than most file systems device. Newer network infrastructure while ensuring data security all along. isn’t required unless your work is bandwidth exhaustive. And by virtue of being open source, any problems that you could face along the entire process has already been documented and steps to resolve them are available quite easily. And just like a good portable storage these things come with automatic backup facility to another FreeBSD-based FreeNAS


While adding a new hard drive to your computer does take care of your space shortage issues it only lasts till someone else runs out of space. Another computer then needs to be upgraded. So instead of upgrading multiple devices one by one you could just build a NAS device and get a shared storage space which amounts to a much more efficient usage of space and funds. Not to mention that particular storage can be accessed anytime by anyone and is not dependent on any one user’s machine. Sharing a folder on your computer does get the job done and others can store data on your machine.

110 Digit | November 2013 |

Digit 101




The zealous young lads of our very own Digit Squad put fingers to keyboard to present you with some interesting reads


Everything you ever wanted to know about keyboards in one, easy-to-understand article

Mother nature’s day off Megalara garuda


Nature has a habit of working in very weird, but usually wonderful ways. Sometimes however, she lets her hair down and when she does, she unwittingly unleashes the most horrific creatures that the world has ever seen.


With jaws so large that they need to be wrapped around its own head, this wasp is a freak of nature. At 2.5-inches, it’s larger than any wasp has any right to be and it’s quite poisonous as well. No one knows exactly why this creaturehas jaws that are longer than its legs but there is some speculation that it has something to do with mating rituals. (shudder)

Desmoxytes purpurosea

Also known as the shocking pink dragon millipede, yes, that is its real name. This is a creature that can go around claiming that it’s absolutely fabulous and not one other creature will argue that point. Why? This terrifying monstrosity secretes hydrogen cyanide! Unlike normal millipedes, this one doesn’t even try to hide in the undergrowth.

Megalopyge opercularis This diminutive creature might look like a cute fur ball and has even been christened the puss caterpillar because of its similarity to a Persian cat. Now why someone would imagine that a caterpillar can look like a cat is beyond us, but we’ll let it slide. This awful creature secretes a potent poison from the spines along its fur.


Vespa mandarinia japonica

Giant isopod

Just thinking about this gives us the creeps. A merciless, hideous beast with a bloodlust of the type we’ve never heard of before; the giant isopod basically latches onto the tongue of a fish, eats the tongue and then supplants it. The isopod then spends the rest of its life sucking the life-blood out of the fish from the surviving tongue stubble.

114 Digit | November 2013 |

That multi-syllable name is referring to the Japanese Giant Hornet, a hornet with a wingspan of just under 2.5-inches. What makes this creature scary is its damage potential, where it can massacre entire bee colonies when outnumbered a 1000:1. And anyway, getting chased for 50 miles by 2-inch bees is not an enjoyable prospect.

Blobfish At long last, the end of our list and arguably, the ugliest animal in the world; presenting, the blobfish. Unlike all the other animals in this list, this one takes the cake for being the most harmless, but at the same time the most repulsive, creature here. A quirk of nature, this fish’s ugliness is a consequence of its deep sea habitat.

The RSS Feed

Nothing endures but change and thus the reason for “Static Page” in case you were wondering) has been the one to take charge in my absence. He will continue to be responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the magazine, and although I will surely meddle every chance I get (just to exasperate everyone), he’s the one who deserves the praise (or abuse even), will ensure that the magazine reaches you on time, and that it carries content that you will love. Thus he is the new face of this magazine by default, simply because it’s his rear end that’s on the line and not mine anymore! So what am I going to be up to now? Those of you registered on the forum would have seen me being more active there recently, so that’s one aspect of what I will be doing. I will also do what I love most, interact directly with you, our readers, whether online, on Facebook, on our forum, over the phone and yes even in person. My aim is to ensure that we find new ways to engage you, serve you and reach you. In order to be your technology navigator, we’re going to have to do a lot more than give you a few articles in a magazine or on a web site – no matter how brilliantly written. Suffice to say, a bunch of us are going to be working on some interesting new things which we hope you will like. That’s all I can tell you for now... without having to kill you that is. We have a few things in mind already, obviously, but we still want to listen to you, and see if we’ve missed any aspect of what you expect from us. If you have ideas on how we can leverage our strengths and expertise to serve you better, make sure to drop me a line and let me know – via our Facebook page, the forum, and by email ( Here’s looking forward to change, and partnering all of you on the journey to improvement.




want to start with thanking all of you who wrote in to wish me by email or on Facebook – for those who don’t already know I became a dad in September, and have been going through the whole deal of sleepless nights and tiring days that make the horrors of issue closing seem like a walk in the park. Since I’ve been asked a lot, I should tell you I named my son Lucas Isaac, as a tribute to two of my biggest science-fiction heroes – George Lucas and Isaac Asimov. Now getting back to the headline of this column, the Greek philosopher Heraclitus was the first person to say this, and he said it 2500 years ago! He’s right of course, and since 2500 years hasn’t proven him wrong thus far, we’re not about to try. First I want to put some of the rumours I heard to rest: No I was not “fired”, and neither did I “quit”! I don’t work for either Apple or BlackBerry now – which is what some of you thought when I asked people to add me for a stress test of BBM that I ran on iOS! Funny? Yes. True? No. I’ve always thought of Digit as the brand that breaks the mold, ducks under all the red tape and doesn’t toe the line. We’re different. Why? Because we have fun doing what we do, and we don’t give a damn who we piss off so long as we tell the truth. I’d like to think I’ve kept that attitude going for the past decade (which I inherited from my seniors when I joined in 2003). Now it’s time for some fresh blood to take over and bring something new to the table, whilst following the same ideals of course. Many of you will ask, “Why has the RSS Feed shifted to the end of the magazine?” The simple answer is that although I am 100 per cent focussed on Digit the brand, over the past two or three months I have ceased to be 100 per cent focussed on Digit the magazine. As many of you know, editors are creatures that hang on to their editorial pages as if their life depends on it (and often it does)... thankfully at Digit (and 9.9) we’re a little different. Credit always goes where credit is due, and StaticSid (Siddharth’s nickname

Robert Sovereign-Smith Executive Editor


“In order to be your technology navigator, we’re going to have to do a lot more than give you a few articles in a magazine or on a web site.”

Liked or hated this column? Write in to and let me know your thoughts.

Digit | November 2013 | 119

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